¶ And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith
the LORD God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto
me in the wilderness.
.2 And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go.
- Feast Included spiritual nourishment from Mt. Sinai.
2 - Who is the Lord An atheistic response, although Egypt had gods including Pharaoh himself.
| 3 ¶ And they
said, The God of the Hebrews hath met with us: let us go, we pray thee,
three days' journey into the desert, and sacrifice unto the LORD our God;
lest he fall upon us with pestilence, or with the sword.
4 And the king of Egypt said unto them, Wherefore do ye, Moses and Aaron, let the people from their works? get you unto your burdens.
5 And Pharaoh said, Behold, the people of the land now are many, and ye make them rest from their burdens.
- People ... are many They were viewed as a threat to national
5 - Rest This would include Sabbath rest. The Hebrew word is shabbat.
And Pharaoh commanded the same day the taskmasters of the people, and their
7 Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore: let them go and gather straw for themselves.
8 And the tale of the bricks, which they did make heretofore, ye shall lay upon them; ye shall not diminish ought thereof: for they be idle; therefore they cry, saying, Let us go and sacrifice to our God.
9 Let there more work be laid upon the men, that they may labour therein; and let them not regard vain words.
- Taskmasters The Hebrew word is different from the one translated
"taskmasters" in ex0111. Here they are apparently
common-class Egyptians. The "officers" were Hebrew scribes who may have
been required to account for the work done. The NIV uses "slave drivers"
for this verse. See v5.
7 - No more ... straw A harsh response to the request to go into the desert. The method for making bricks is probably similar to the way they are made today. When I was in Rwanda, wooden molds were set out on a flat area and packed with mud. When dry enough the mold was lifted off and they dried in the sun.
8 - Tale Or "quota."
| 10 ¶ And
the taskmasters of the people went out, and their officers, and they spake
to the people, saying, Thus saith Pharaoh, I will not give you straw.
11 Go ye, get you straw where ye can find it: yet not ought of your work shall be diminished.
12 So the people were scattered abroad throughout all the land of Egypt to gather stubble instead of straw.
13 And the taskmasters hasted them, saying, Fulfil your works, your daily tasks, as when there was straw.
.14 And the officers of the children of Israel, which Pharaoh's taskmasters had set over them, were beaten, and demanded, Wherefore have ye not fulfilled your task in making brick both yesterday and to day, as heretofore?
Image © 2001, GoodSalt, Inc. Used by permission
| 15 ¶ Then
the officers of the children of Israel came and cried unto Pharaoh, saying,
Wherefore dealest thou thus with thy servants?
16 There is no straw given unto thy servants, and they say to us, Make brick: and, behold, thy servants are beaten; but the fault is in thine own people.
17 But he said, Ye are idle, ye are idle: therefore ye say, Let us go and do sacrifice to the LORD.
18 Go therefore now, and work; for there shall no straw be given you, yet shall ye deliver the tale of bricks.
| 19 And the
officers of the children of Israel did see that they were in evil case,
after it was said, Ye shall not minish ought from your bricks of your daily
20 And they met Moses and Aaron, who stood in the way, as they came forth from Pharaoh:
21 And they said unto them, The LORD look upon you, and judge; because ye have made our savour to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to slay us.
22 And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Lord, wherefore hast thou so evil entreated this people? why is it that thou hast sent me?
23 For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all.
- Abhorred Many who claim to follow the true God today would
abandon their religion if faced with hatred for their "faith." Jesus talked
about it mt0511.
22 - Moses returned No doubt with Aaron. And they complained against the Lord! A little like Adam and Eve. ge0212.
Image copyright 1997 Gini Schmitz, Over the Rainbow images.